Indian Lakes owner, developer suing Bloomingdale to review plans

 
 
Updated 3/13/2018 7:48 AM
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  • A lawsuit has been filed to force Bloomingdale to do a preliminary review of a plan to put hundreds of houses on a former golf course at Indian Lakes Resort. Village officials have insisted the application to redevelop the 27-hole golf course is incomplete.

    A lawsuit has been filed to force Bloomingdale to do a preliminary review of a plan to put hundreds of houses on a former golf course at Indian Lakes Resort. Village officials have insisted the application to redevelop the 27-hole golf course is incomplete. Daily Herald file photo

The owner of Indian Lakes Resort and a company seeking to redevelop roughly 190 acres of the Bloomingdale property want a DuPage County judge to compel the village to do a preliminary review of plans for the site.

It's been nearly six months since developer K. Hovnanian T&C Homes submitted a proposal to rezone the resort's former golf course and transform it into a neighborhood with hundreds of houses for empty nesters. Still, the village hasn't scheduled public hearings related to the request.

Village officials say the nearly 1,500-page application can't go to the planning and zoning commission because it's incomplete. K. Hovnanian must provide final engineering because it wants to rezone the land, according to the village.

First ILR LLC, which owns the 223-acre Indian Lakes property along Schick Road, and K. Hovnanian disagree.

Last week, they filed a lawsuit against Bloomingdale asking a judge to "order the village to review, hear and determine plaintiffs' request for preliminary plan approval without submittal of final plans, including final engineering."

"We didn't want to go to court," Indian Lakes spokesman Patrick Skarr said Monday. "But it's clear to us that village leaders are not interested in holding fair hearings about the future of Indian Lakes. We request a preliminary review by the village that allows us to incorporate the feedback and input of the community."

In addition, the complaint asks the court to "grant whatever additional and further relief is necessary" to K. Hovnanian and First ILR.

The legal action comes more than a year after First ILR announced plans for the redevelopment and a major renovation of the hotel.

A 27-hole golf course and a 36,000-square-foot conference center were closed in late 2016 as part of an effort to save the property's hotel. Indian Lakes officials said the golf course was losing nearly $1 million a year.

But because of the delay in redeveloping the golf course, First ILR says improvements to the hotel and a new franchise agreement have been placed on indefinite hold.

Under K. Hovnanian's plan, the subdivision for residents 55 and older would be called "Four Seasons at Indian Lakes" and have 535 ranch-style houses. It's estimated that the neighborhood would generate about $5 million in annual tax revenue, including $4 million for school districts.

But for the project to happen the golf course must be rezoned for residential development. It's currently zoned for resort and recreational use.

Bloomingdale officials blame the rezoning request for complicating the process. They say final engineering is needed for a rezoning in the village.

"The village stands by its interpretation of the code," Village Administrator Pietro Scalera said Monday. "We believe that in order for them to follow the process that they have identified, they need to submit the final plans."

According to the lawsuit, it would cost K. Hovnanian Homes roughly $1 million to draft final plans, including final engineering.

"Final plans aren't starting plans," Skarr said. "That's why the village's request is kind of outrageous and ridiculous."

The lawsuit says the application and accompanying materials comply with the requirements of the village's zoning ordinance. Still, Bloomingdale officials insist that the village wouldn't be following its own code if it scheduled a public hearing based on the existing application.

If K. Hovnanian wants a preliminary review, it should drop the rezoning request and submit an application for a planned unit development.

"Then," Scalera said, "we would be able to start the process."

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